Recent research presented at the American Academy of Family Physicians reports there were no toxic calcium levels seen in patients taking high-doses of vitamin D.
The small retrospective study examined 121 patients without kidney or liver dysfunction taking 2,000 – 7,000 IU vitamin D/day, who also had their calcium levels measured. Patients were ages 30 to 90, all with a minimum calcium intake of 1,000 mg/day.
Dr Neena E. Thomas-Eapen, MD reported none of the patients developed hypercalcemia (calcium >10.5 mg/dL). As the vitamin D levels of the participants increased, so did their calcium status, but it never exceeded 9.5 mg/dL.
Dr Thomas-Eapen told MedPage Today,
“We want physicians to know that if there is a need for vitamin D supplementation, which is very important for bones, the brain, the endocrine and the immunological systems, they should feel free to use a few thousand international units to 7,000 international units of vitamin D safely in patients with normal liver and kidney functions.”
She recognized the need for increased dosage when increasing vitamin D status in patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia. She said that in practice, she has not seen hypercalcemia, and wanted to conduct the research to provide conclusive data demonstrating the observation.
The authors call for studies larger sample sizes and longer duration to confirm the results.